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Here is a Big Cottonwood Canyon oddity. Instead of the traditional quartzite that the majority of the canyon is comprised of, the Powder Ridge Wall is a buttress of quartz monzonite (granite) that is similar in composition to that of Ferguson Canyon on the other side of the ridge. The buttress is north facing, and some spots see some sun in the afternoon. It can get pretty windy, and the brush doesn't provide much protection; however, the wind may provide the relief you needed from a hot sunset. The rock is not frequented often, and suffers from neglect. Loose, gritty rock is not all too uncommon here. There are quartz veins and varying sizes of quartz crystals in the rock which are very solid. So far, there are nine well bolted lines with good anchors for rappeling. You're not likely to get sandbagged here, as the ratings are pretty soft. It would be easy to walk to the top of the buttress from the east and top rope the climbs. If the crowds are getting you down, this offers a decent alternative.
See directions to Ferguson Canyon. Once past the water tank, follow the Ferguson Canyon trail down to where the stream is. There is a small stream crossing here and a trail hikes up the ridge. The trail winds through some brush, then over some quartzite boulders. Eventually, you reach a flat, sandy spot between the tops of the Guano and Heart walls. From here, find a faint, narrow animal trail that traverses across the grassy slope on the north facing side of the ridge. This trail leads through some more brush and leads to the center part of the buttress. Plan on a twenty minute approach. The ridge can be taxing, especially in the hot sun, so pack light. An alternate approach branches off the main trail as if heading to the Heart wall, and climbs the gully between the Guano and Heart walls to the flat, sandy spot mentioned above.
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Browse More Classics in Powder Ridge Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Powder Ridge Wall:
Lying Crack 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Blood and Chalk 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 45'
Whiskey Shot 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Berry, Berry Steep 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 65'
Featured Route For Powder Ridge Wall
Rattled 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a UT : Wasatch Range : ... : Powder Ridge Wall
Deceptively challenging. The start is physical, but not demanding. The angle eases out between the second and third bolts, but the jugs disappear. Lots of sloping ledges and small nubbins are featured on this route. Avoiding the arete makes the climbing more interesting. The bolts are so close together on this climb that you can touch a bolt at all times when on this route. ...[more] Browse More Classics in UT
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